Past, present and future converged Saturday with the unveiling of a quilt block on the back wall of the building occupied by Glory Days & Vagabond Graphics, 129 S. Main St.

The Sallie Rose Bohannon Building has a long link to the city's history, and is the site of businesses operated by five generations of the Bohannon family.

Family and supporters were among those on hand for Saturday's ceremony, including members of the Downtown Greeneville Quilt Trail Project.

The 4-by-4 foot quilt block incorporates a design called "New York Beauty."

The quilt square is the seventh in downtown Greeneville. The distinctive quilt blocks are designed to attract visitors downtown.

"That's what this is all about, bringing (visitors) to the community in different ways," said Amy Saxonmeyer, artistic director of the Downtown Greeneville Quilt Trail Project.

Linnie Greene, project co-chairman, said the Greeneville Quilt Trail group helps promote local businesses in addition to raising historical awareness.

"We're boosting our economy in whatever way we can," she said.

NATIONAL EVENT

Its reputation is such that the city will play host in August to the National Quilt Trail Gathering.

The General Morgan Inn will host the event, which will bring several hundred visitors to Greeneville.

"Over the next six months we will be working very hard to put more quilt squares up in Greeneville," Saxonmeyer said.

Other benefits of the Greeneville Quilt Trail project go beyond promoting the local economy.

"What we're also doing is preserving the history of Greene County and the families of Greene County," Greene said.

The owners and operators of Glory Days and Vagabond Graphics on South Main Street are Angie Taylor and Jeff Stubblefield.

Taylor is a fifth-generation female business owner in the building. Sallie Rose Bohannon was the first family member to open a business, a millinery store, at the location in 1923. Photographs, clothing and other reminders of her business are prominent in the front display windows.

Family members and a news release from the Downtown Greeneville Quilt Trail group provided details about the quilt that inspired the square.

Andrea Susong Daniels' "New York Beauty" quilt, also known as a "Sunburst" pattern, was created in the 1880s by her third cousin, Elizabeth "Bettie" Howell Bohannon, mother of Sallie Rose Bohannon.

MOVED HERE IN 1897

Elizabeth Bohannon, a widow, and Sallie left Farmington, N.C., and moved to Greeneville in 1897.

After arriving in Greeneville, they set up house on West Main Street and started a home dressmaking business.

As Bettie's health declined, Sallie was left to provide for the family.

Sallie was teaching the art of china painting and ceramic pottery at Tusculum College at the time and was compelled to make some major decisions.

On borrowed capital and modest savings, Sallie opened a small store in 1920 utilizing sewing techniques learned from her mother, the release says.

Her store stocked trimmed hats. Within a year, she had a regular group of satisfied patrons.

In 1923, she relocated, occupying the building at 129 S. Main St.

The building soon became known as the Bohannon Storehouse, the release says.

Sallie Bohannon traveled to Baltimore and New York to purchase new stock for the store, the release says.

Sallie continued to do business at the downtown location even after becoming crippled with arthritis.

"She waited on loyal customers up to the age of 80," the release says. "Sallie Bohannon was a remarkable and prominent businesswoman. She was what we might today call a venture capitalist."

The building was renovated by Andrea Susong Daniels, who installed the quilt square in 2013. Daniels hired local art teacher Sherry Hensley to paint the block and later added an additional centerpiece painted by Saxonmeyer.

Initial funding for the Downtown Greeneville Quilt Trail Project was provided by the Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council, and a grant from the East Tennessee Art Fund.

The council is responsible for the purchase of all quilt square materials. Further funding generated through donations are managed by the council and designated for the project.

120 SITES

The Quilt Trail in northeast Tennessee includes 120 sites, including others in Greene County.

Greene County residents can submit their family quilts and quilt stories for consideration. The committee also seeks building owners in downtown Greeneville to submit their locations for consideration in showcasing a painted quilt square.

Those interested in making a donation, acquiring an application or learning more about the Downtown Greeneville Quilt Trail can contact the Greeneville-Greene County History Museum during regular business hours by calling 423-639-3278 or by emailing christinehuss9@msn.com.